Group helps the homeless

To the Editor:

I read with great interest and equal disappointment Frank Smart’s Guest Column in the Jan. 2 issue of the Union Democrat (“Community responsible for helping the homeless”).

The paragraph that stood out most to me stated, “The fact remains the people of this great community absolutely must do something [about homelessness]. The fragmented efforts by several groups aren’t working.”

Give Someone a Chance (GSAC) is a “group” to which Mr. Smart is referring, and I take strong exception to his evaluation. It is doing something.

GSAC was founded eight years ago by Jamestown residents Hazel and Dick Mitchell as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that works with community partners, the goal of which is to bring assistance directly to those Tuolumne County residents who are homeless and, as a result, marginalized. Among much other varied assistance to these neighbors of ours, GSAC sponsors a three-day scheduled mobile shower-bus program.

The program offers to its needy beneficiaries free food, clothing, remedial physical and mental referrals, and person-to-person emotional support.

Moreover, GSAC steps up to the plate in regard to helping our dispossessed — indeed, too-often destitute — fellow Tuolumnites by supplying at their shower stations free underwear and socks, as well as toiletry kits containing toothpaste and toothbrushes, hand soap, shampoo, feminine products and a comb or brush.

The annual cost of this all-volunteer program is about $100,000, which is provided via private donations. In addition to operating costs, these funds offer five to six thousand showers per year.

Mr. Smart, GSAC is not a “fragment” of your imagination; indeed, you are invited to join in its effort to actively alleviate homelessness in Tuolumne County.

For those interested in exploring more about Give Someone a Chance or participating in its contribution to our community, visit their web site at or call 588-8377.

Irwin Schwartz


Keep us safe

To the Editor:

Today, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, the small town of Newman in San Joaquin County, CA buried a young police officer, Cpl. Ronil Singh who was killed by an illegal Mexican Nationalist here in the US illegally. Gustavo Perez Arriaga had two previous DUI arrests and was never deported. This should have never happened.

It is time for our elected officials to do the right thing!

California Governor Gavin Newsom needs to put an end to sanctuary status for illegal criminals. This policy puts all of us at risk.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats must STOP playing politics with the lives of American citizens. Democrats need to do the right thing and fund the wall and put an end to the government shutdown. The Democrats seem to be more concerned with opposing President Trump than the safety of the rest of us.

Vicky Reinke

Angels Camp

Sad to see it go

To the Editor:

I am saddened to read of the closing of the Mountain Springs Golf Course.

I do not live full time in the area, but have a second home in Twain Harte.

Ever since buying our place, myself, my son and son-in-law and grandchildren have played golf there five to six times a year.

I also have brought a group (12-16 individuals) of seniors twice a year to play golf and stay at my place in Twain Harte.

Hopefully a sale can be arranged that keeps Mountain Springs in operation. The groundskeepers have kept the course in great condition, even during the dry years.

Dave Redfern

Redwood City